How Instagram Algorithms Works 2021 – CEO Adam Mosseri Explain

A blog post written by Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri explains how to categorize content for users in different parts of the app.

Mosseri reviewed how content is categorized in main feeds, exploration feeds, scroll feeds, and story carousels.

In addition, Mosseri also talked about the subject of the shadow ban and whether people’s theories about it are correct.

The following is a key summary of Mosseri’s article.

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The Instagram Algorithm

Mosseri said that there is no algorithm to rank everything on Instagram.

Each part of the application (Feed, Explore, Reels, and Stories) has its own algorithm.

The content is categorized in each section according to how people use it.

How The Feed & Stories Algorithms Work

The Feed and Stories algorithm ranks the posts recently shared by the people the user follows.

Thousands of signals are used to determine the order of display content.

Mosseri said these are the most important signals on major feeds and stories carousels:

  • Information about the post: This includes how popular it is, how many likes it has, when it was posted, where it was posted from, and other general details.
  • Information about the content creator: This includes how much engagement the creator has received in the past few weeks.
  • User activity: Includes signals from the user’s recent activity on Instagram, such as how many posts they’ve liked.
  • A user’s history of interacting with the content creator: An example is whether the user and the content creator have commented on each other’s posts.

From there, the algorithm tries to predict the probability of the user interacting with the post.

The more likely the user is to interact with the post, the higher the post’s ranking.

For feed posts, Instagram will consider users:

  • Spend a few seconds on a post
  • Comment on a post
  • Like a post
  • Save a post
  • Tap on the profile photo associated with the post

In some cases, the algorithm will consider other factors. For example, Instagram feeds should avoid showing too many posts from the same person in a row.

How the Instagram Explore Algorithm Works

Instagram’s explore algorithm classifies content into sources that are different from accounts that users have not yet followed.

It works like the main feed algorithm, by collecting signals from posts that users have liked, saved, or commented on in the past.

Mosseri explained how to use these signals to find relevant content from accounts that are not directly associated with the user:

Once Instagram’s browsing algorithm finds posts that users might be interested in, it uses the same signals as the main source to rank them.

Source: Mosseri’s full blog post.

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